YHS STAR program gives animals a second chance
Originally Published: August 14, 2012 9:42 p.m.
This past weekend stargazers observed the peak of the spectacular Perseids falling star season - named for the constellation Perseus from which the falling stars appear to originate. The shower is actually the result of Earth crossing the debris trail of the comet Swift-Tuttle, discovered in 1862, whose trail of rock and dust still circles our sun.Until the end of the month, long glowing tails shimmering throughout the velvety dark may be seen as falling stars light up the night. As we cross this comet trail each year, falling stars hit the Earth's atmosphere at 140,000 miles per hour inducing gasps of wonder as they blaze across the sky.The Perseids were particularly striking this past Saturday night/Sunday morning because they coincided with beautiful summer weather and a dark night sky, inhibited only by a crescent moon that rose about three hours before the sun. Each year another, less pleasant spectacle can be forecast with the same astronomical certainty. I'm speaking of the shower of lost and homeless dogs and cats rescued by the Yavapai Humane Society. Each summer YHS marks its calendar in reluctant anticipation of the hundreds of animals expected to fall into our atmosphere, tails tucked between their legs with fear and foreboding, unlike the flamboyant tails seen among the Perseids.Many of these animals come to YHS injured, abused or with an illness that requires special medical treatment. Sadly, YHS has limited funding and is unable, on its own, to effectively help some of the neediest animals.Until recently, the trajectory for these lost and homeless pets was tragically similar to the silent extinguishing of shooting stars in the black night sky. Without the needed resources to care for them, euthanasia was often the only humane solution. However, that all changed a year ago, during the last Perseids, when YHS officially launched the STAR (Special Treatment And Recovery) program. Since then, donations to the STAR program have enabled YHS to better care for our community's neediest animals until they are healthy enough to be placed into loving homes.Visit the YHS STAR website to read some the amazing testimonies of some of our animals - like Mimi, our very first STAR animal, and Trudy, Sunset, Hassy, Buddy, Waste Management (a personal favorite), Heather, Pancake, and many more. The STAR program represents a community-wide commitment to helping lost and homeless animals, to swearing off euthanasia as a solution, and to ensuring no animal that comes through YHS' doors is killed out of convenience or a lack of resources. For every one of them there is a kind and loving person or family and it is our mission to bring them together.Your donations directly help save the many deserving animals rescued by YHS each year; animals that through no fault of their own, need your help.You can make a donation to the YHS STAR program online (www.yavapaihumane.org/star) or at 1625 Sundog Ranch Road, Prescott, AZ 86301.For more information on donating, adopting, or fostering YHS STAR animals, visit www.yavapaihumane.org, or call 445-2666, ext. 12. It's also time to purchase your Reigning Cats & Dogs Dinner and Auction Gala tickets. Visit the YHS website or call for information on tickets ($100 each or $900 for a table of 10).Ed Boks is the executive director of the Yavapai Humane Society. He can be reached at email@example.com or by calling 445-2666, ext. 21.